Andrew Cuomo Seeks Way to Sue Gun Companies as ‘Public Nuisance’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at an event at his office in New York, on March 18,
SETH WENIG/Pool AP/AFP via Getty Images

During his Tuesday gun control speech, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the re-instatement of a law designed to allow gun companies to be sued under the pretext of “public nuisance.”

This puts New York on a collision course with the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

Breitbart News noted Cuomo criticized the PLCAA, making clear he was going full steam ahead with efforts to counter it via the re-institution of New York’s Public Nuisance Liability for Gun Manufacturers.

Cuomo described his goal as removing “immunity” for gun makers.

Bloomberg Law notes Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D) believes “the use of public nuisance law is thought to be a sort of legal loophole to work around [PLCAA] protections.”

That National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Olivia spoke to Breitbart News after Cuomo signed the Public Nuisance Liability legislation, saying:

The law signed by Governor Cuomo would decimate the firearm industry while doing absolutely nothing to reduce crime. This law isn’t just for New Yorkers to go after gun companies in New York, but would extend that reach to haul in gun companies from other states into New York courts in attempts to hold them accountable for the criminal actions of individuals who have no relationship with those companies. These cases were repeatedly thrown out of court before PLCAA was enacted because they were junk lawsuits then. They’ll be junk lawsuits now.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden often claimed the PLCAA gave gun makers immunity and/or a degree of protection other industries do not get.

But on March 15, 2020, Breitbart News pointed to a summary of the PLCCA legislation published at that shows the PLCCA is far more limited than leftists like Biden and Cuomo suggest.

For example, the language of the law still allows that “manufacturers and dealers … be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S.-based manufacturer of consumer products is held responsible.”

So the PLCAA does not grant immunity but it does protect gun makers from frivolous suits.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at



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